First time parents are bombarded with gifts and recommendations for products to help ease them into parenthood. Buy this. Buy that. Do this. Don't do that. But things go really quiet once you start adding to your family, which is a little disconcerting.
Sure, you may have 'a' child but that doesn't mean you're entirely prepared for the new challenges ahead - particularly when it comes to logistics!
With a mere 16 months of experience with two children in tow, I'm hardly an expert, but here are seven items that really helped ease us into life with a bigger brood.
I hope they make life easier for you too.
1. A baby carrier, or two!
If there’s anything you need once you exceed one child it’s your hands. From the second we got home from hospital our second son was strapped to me. I vacuumed, I walked, I played soccer and cooked dinner with him snuggled into the Baby Bjorn. It helped us keep to our morning routines (which kept my older son happy) and by extension, helped us keep on with family life as we adjusted to our newest member. We got an Ergo Baby when our son was about ten months-old. By far the best thing about this carrier is the extensive back and hip support which allowed us to keep carrying him frontward facing as he grew.
2. A portable lunchbox
Snacks. Snacks. Snacks. It seems we can’t go anywhere these days without someone saying they’re hungry. When I fell pregnant with baby two, my very organized friend Kate suggested keeping a container of snacks at the bottom of the pram at all times. I still do! Very good advice that's made easier with a great lunchbox or bag.
3. Jolly Jumper
Both our kids loved the Jolly Jumper, but our second baby almost lived in it! Showing signs of independence from an early age, he loved being able to move around freely, watching his brother play and me cook from the middle of the kitchen. We even set it up outside on nice days, (when he was very light) and he loved watching the trees and the birds while I hung out the washing.
4. A scooter
Obviously this is age and stage dependent, but getting out of the house became trickier with two children so having the scooter meant our bigger son could exert some energy without me having to chase him or carry a bike! It’s so light that when his little legs got tired I could just sit it on top of the pram and walk everyone home again.
5. A double pram
When the baby started getting heavier, I realized we needed a pram to accommodate both children comfortably. An eBay purchase our double pram changed everything because we simply had less things to cart around and get in and out of the car. Plus, it has double the storage underneath which is still terrific, almost a year later.
6. Vibrating, music-playing baby seat
We were given a soft vibrating baby chair with our first child but it really came into its own with number two (so hang onto them!). Before he could sit independently the chair was a great way to bring variety to his day. The music provided a change of pace and because he was sitting up and happy, I could move him wherever we were around the house and in the backyard.
7. A hook for the pram
This hook came attached to the double pram we bought on eBay when baby #2 was about 10 months-old. And boy, oh boy do I wish I’d known about these earlier. As someone who avoids taking the kids in the car (especially in the early days) I try and walk most places – grocery store included. This hook can grip at least 4 bags of groceries and swings far enough away that no eggs are crushed or loaves of bread squashed.
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